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Cubital tunnel syndrome is a condition whereby the ulnar nerve, which travels from your neck into your hand, becomes compressed or irritated behind the inside part of the elbow. This can cause tingling, numbness and loss of function.
What Causes Cubital Tunnel Syndrome?
Common causes of ulnar nerve entrapment include pressure on the nerve and overstretching. When the ulnar nerve moves over a bony bump, the pressure can irritate the nerve and cause severe pain. Overstretching of the nerves can be caused when an elbow is bent for a long period of time.
You are more likely to develop cubital tunnel syndrome if you have had a prior fracture or dislocation of the elbow, suffer from arthritis, or undertake repetitive and prolonged activities that require the elbow to be bent.
Diagnosing This Condition
Dr. Raskin may suggest nerve testing to uncover issues. A nerve conduction test includes checking the neck region for pinched nerves, since this problem could cause similar issues. X-rays may reveal the presence of bone spurs in the elbow, or they may show that the condition is a result of arthritis.
Treating Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
Non-surgical treatments usually come in the form of NSAID medications and nerve gliding exercises, which help to prevent stiffness in the arm and wrist. You may be asked to wear a splint, rest the arm, and avoid any activities that cause pain.
If non-surgical treatments do not help, it may be necessary to undergo surgery, which takes the pressure off of the nerve and alleviate the symptoms. For those who choose surgery, the success rate is close to 90% for relief from symptoms.
Surgery is performed under anesthesia. It can release the nerve and put it back in the correct position. If necessary, Dr. Raskin may also remove part of the bone to ensure that the condition does not recur.
It takes time to recover from surgery for cubital tunnel syndrome. Full recovery takes about 2 months. After the procedure, patients can expect to feel pain, stiffness, and swelling, which can be treated with medication and ice packs. Rest and medication help speed up the healing process.
Some people may require therapy to restore painless full range of motion in the arm. This involves working with a physiotherapist, performing various exercises, and using hot and cold packs to address pain.
Arrange a Consultation
To speak with Dr. Raskin regarding treatment options for cubital tunnel syndrome in NYC, contact The Raskin Center for Hand, Wrist & Elbow Surgery today. Dr. Raskin is a skilled and respected hand surgeon with years of experience and will be happy to find the best treatment option for you.